Child Care Proceedings Questions and Answers
Below is a list of the questions that our public law children lawyers are often asked. Call us on 01843 234010 if you would like advice.
I do not live close to the office of Boys & Maughan – is this a problem?
Not at all, we regularly represent clients all over Kent, England and abroad. We can make arrangements to meet you at your home, at a local venue that is mutually convenient or even arrange telephone/video appointments. We can also represent you if you or someone that you know is in prison.
Can I get legal aid for an Emergency Protection Order / (Interim) Care Order / (Interim) Supervision Order application?
Yes, anyone who is a parent or a person that holds parental responsibility will get automatic legal aid. Anyone else may be entitled and will have to go through a means and merits assessment – You can still apply for Legal Aid even if you are abroad, as long as the court proceedings are issued in England and Wales. You are advised to make contact with us as soon as possible so that we can assist you in determining whether you would be eligible for legal advice.
I have received notification of a hearing that has been listed at short notice for an Interim Care Order / Emergency Protection Order application– can you represent me at the hearing?
Yes; either one of our solicitors will be able to attend court or we can make arrangements for a barrister to attend instead. It is important that you are represented at these hearings so you should make contact with us as soon as possible.
Can I get legal representation for an “out of hours” Emergency Protection Order application?
Yes – as a firm we are able to make solicitors available to help advise and represent parents at out of hours telephone hearings so you should contact us as soon as you receiving notification of an application taking place.
I have been contacted by the local authority saying that I am being invited to intervene in proceedings – do I need a solicitor?
Generally yes; usually the local authority are asking the court to make findings of fact against you in relation to harm that has been caused to a child. You will need a solicitor to advise you and challenge these findings. If the Court makes findings against you there could be future implications in terms of your care of your children or care of future children.
I have received a Letter Before Proceedings from the local authority confirming there is a Pre-proceedings Meeting – should I attend and do I need legal representation?
Yes and yes – in these situations the local authority believe that there are grounds to issue an application to the court to remove your child(ren) but want to try one last time to work with you in order to avoid this. It is vitally important that you have legal advice and should make contact with us as soon as you receive this notification from the local authority.
The local authority are funding some legal advice for me as I am being assessed as a potential carer for children they are involved with – can you help?
Yes – if you make contact with us we can liaise with the social worker to finalise funding arrangements and then book you in for an appointment.